Aramazd Andressian pleaded guilty Tuesday in the killing his son, 5-year-old Aramazd “Piqui” Andressian Jr., whose disappearance prompted a monthslong search in April that ended when the boy’s body was found in the Lake Cachuma area in Santa Barbara County in June.
Andressian Sr. entered the open guilty plea to one count of first-degree murder during a preliminary hearing, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated.
The open plea means a sentence was not negotiated with the DA’s office.
During the hearing, Andressian Jr.’s mother Ana Estevez sat in the front row holding a small white urn and wept with family members when they heard the boy’s name mentioned, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Andressian Sr. faces 25 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 23.
The 35-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty during his July 3 arraignment.
Andression Jr. was reported missing by Estevez after Andressian Sr. failed to show up for a custody exchange on April 22.
Earlier the same day, Andressian Sr. was found passed out near his car at Arroyo Park, but the boy was not with him.
Andressian Sr. was arrested on suspicion of child abduction and child endangerment by South Pasadena police but later released due to lack of evidence.
According to police, Andressian Jr.’s parents were involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle.
The boy had last been seen with his father at Disneyland two days before he was reported missing.
Large scale searches of Arroyo Park and Lake Cachuma turned up no sign of the boy.
Despite the boy’s body not being found, Andressian Sr. was arrested again in Las Vegas on June 23 and extradited back to Los Angeles County to face a murder charge.
Andressian Jr.’s body was discovered July 1 near Lake Cachuma, the same day as his father’s extradition.
New details about the investigation were revealed in a Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services report obtained by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
In the report, Andressian Sr. told investigators he had harmed his son and left him in Santa Barbara County. He later told authorities where to find the boy’s body, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.